COLUMBUS, OHIO (WSAZ) -- Attorney General Mike DeWine wants to make sure that people are safe when shopping in stores and online.
He released some safety tips that are good for people everywhere.
Safety Tips for Shopping at Stores or Malls
Reduce distractions, such as using a cell phone, while walking to your car, especially at night.
Always park in well-lit areas.
Limit the number of valuables you carry to minimize potential loss.
Never leave personal items or packages in plain sight in your vehicle. This includes money (even loose change), credit cards, cell phones, laptops, tablets, purses, and GPS units.
Do not carry multiple packages at once. Use will-call and curbside package pickup services instead. Ask mall or store security for an escort before leaving your shopping location.
Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time of year, con artists may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings.
Do not load packages in your trunk right before leaving your vehicle. Someone could be watching.
Safety Tips for Online Shopping
Check a website’s reputation before making a purchase. Look for complaints filed with the Attorney General and Better Business Bureau and do a basic Internet search with the website’s name and the word “scam” to look for potential red flags.
Keep your computer, smartphone, tablet, and any other device you use for shopping updated with the latest security software, programs, and apps.
Be skeptical of “free” offers, especially if you have to provide your credit card number for shipping and handling. You may start to receive monthly charges when the free trial period ends unless you directly cancel.
Make sure a website is secure before entering your information. The web address should say “https.” The “s” indicates that the connection is secure.
Only give out personal information that is necessary to complete the transaction.
Look for the refund policy. Review the terms and conditions carefully before purchasing.
Check your accounts regularly. This may help you identify fraudulent charges or identity theft.